When deciding to have kids, there is no compromise

So much to say, but I don’t know how to say it. My wife and I have both been in low moods lately. I didn’t ovulate this month, and I can feel it emotionally. My wife struggles with anxiety and has been feeling a lot of it around the idea of having baby #2. I’ve felt tugged around on her rollercoaster of wanting and not wanting another child. I open my heart for the possibility of another baby and then I’m asked to not get excited about it because we might not be able to go through with this. My wife says she needs more time, but I know this about her: she will delay big life changes indefinitely while focusing on all the negative “what ifs,” and my role in our relationship is to focus on the positive and push us into the big change. My wife was nervous and not excited about our first pregnancy until literally the moment Avery was born (it led to me feeling alone in my pregnancy and not wanting to talk about my excitement with my partner. That sucked). But now she has zero regrets and can’t imagine life without our one perfect child. The same thing will happen with #2. It’s a delicate balance we have – the pusher forward and the puller backward. It’s easy to see it as a conflict, or like we just want different things out of life, but it’s actually just how we function together as a couple. She reins me in so we don’t have 100 chickens and I help her loosen up so we take a chance on 4 chickens (which she now loves and appreciates). The chicken thing is a weird example but it’s a real one!

Anyway, the tough thing is, there is no compromise on having a second child. You either do or you don’t. As my wife pulls back, my heart grieves the place it made for this future child. As my wife gears up and wants that child again, my heart re-opens. It’s a painful cycle even though the child in question only exists in my imagination, my hopes and my dreams.

So I’ve been low lately. I’ve been trying not to resent my wife for pulling back, and she has been trying not to resent me for pushing forward. We’re trying to give each other a blank slate and move forward on the same page. Marriage is a lot of work, sometimes. I know it’s worth it, for us at least, but I’m tired right now.

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7 thoughts on “When deciding to have kids, there is no compromise

  1. That’s such a difficult and emotional place to be in! I guess the “good” thing is that you do know each so well and hopefully instead of you being defeated or her being anxious, you can use that knowledge to be realistic and understanding and come to the best decision for your family. Even as my wife actively tries to get pregnant I worry she’ll change her mind and I’ll be heartbroken. But I know I just need to be supportive and patient and she calms down again. The whole process is such a rollercoaster

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  2. I’m glad to read this side of the situation. My husband and are in the same type of issue where he really wants another one and I really don’t. I don’t think we are ready, and I’m ready to start my career. Breastfeeding was so hard and I’m not prepared to do it again. I am glad to read your point of view, because it must be similar how my husband feels. We used to argue about it, but we are on a blank slate right now too. Best of luck to the both of you!

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    • I do not vote on your decision about having another child, not my place.
      However, it is totally possible to be wonderful parents and NOT breastfeed. Not anyone else’s business why you make this decision. Remember, usually adoptive parents cannot breast feed, many women are unable to produce enough milk to only breast feed, some new mothers may be medically unable to breastfeed and breast feeding any baby is YOUR PERSONAL DECISION ABOUT YOUR BODY NOT to be explained to anyone else. Anyone who is rude enough to question such a situation should be met with silence, or why would you ever ask, or simply ‘that wasn’t an option.’ Breast feeding does NOT equate to love, superiority or ‘better’ parenting.
      A real issue is the life long commitment to another human and the choices that constrains you leading your life. Direct your attention there and suggest your husband consider being the person to take parental leave and feed the baby, not you, IF you decide in favor of another child. Remember I do not vote on this subject and it is your body that provides hopefully 9 months to growing a child.
      Good wishes on your process and support for whatever is right for you.

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      • Thank you! Breastfeeding alone isn’t the reason I don’t want anymore children, just one of them. I always knew I would want to breastfeed, and it was really rewarding. But another factor that I didn’t mention was that my husband wasn’t very helpful when my daughter was an infant. He just doesn’t know what to do lol. But thank you for your kind words

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